Report: We stream, we binge, we value the Internet most of our services

By Jim O'Neill on Mar 23 2016 at 1:00 PM
Report: We stream, we binge, we value the Internet most of our services

That Americans binge watch streaming video is no surprise; reports on our proclivity to watch more than one episode at a single sitting have been floating around since Netflix started streaming complete seasons of TV shows. But, a new report from Deloitte, its most recent iteration of the Digital Democracy Survey, points out that it’s clearly more than just House of Cards, Transparency and past seasons of Game of Thrones that has us enthralled.

Nearly three-quarters of Americans binge, with viewers 14-25 years old watching an average of six episodes per session, 26-49 year olds watching 5 and viewers 50 and above sitting still for 4. Most popular? TV dramas, followed by comedies.

Across age groups, more than 35% of viewers 14-68 binge weekly; only Gen X viewers (25%) and Matures (15%) binge less often. More than 40% of all viewers binge at least monthly.

“The proliferation of online content shows no signs of slowing down and the consumer appetite to consume content is equally voracious,” says Gerald Belson, who leads Deloitte’s U.S media and entertainment sector. “The survey data indicates that consumers are more willing than ever to invest in services to watch whenever, wherever and on whatever device they choose.”


Not surprisingly, every generation included home broadband as one of the top three services they valued. It was included by 95% of consumers, up from 94% in 2014. Some 79% named pay TV, down from 80% a year ago, and streaming garnered 61%, up from 54% in 2014 and just 17% in 2012.

Deloitte also measured the popularity of devices and found Millennials and Boomers say the most important device in their household is their smartphone. Gen X leans toward their laptops, but just a couple of percentage points more than their smartphones. Matures gravitate (again, just barely more than smartphones) to their desktop computer.

Even more telling, perhaps, is the plummeting popularity of flat panel TV screens.

In 2014, they were ranked among the top three devices most valued by 62% of respondents; in 2015, it was down to 62%, clearly showing the democratization of screens in the American HH.

Deloitte said 46% of consumers subscribe to a streaming service, a number that’s similar to other recent studies. Every generation, except Matures, subscribe to two or more services.

The Top reason people like their streaming services? Again, no surprise, really. No. 1was the ability to watch at any time (71%), followed by no commercials (66%), being able to watch anywhere (61%) and on multiple devices (57%).

Interestingly, 50% of respondents said streaming quality was on par with their pay-TV delivery, up from 45% in 2013 and 49% in 2014.


Deloitte’s report really lights up the trends that Millennial viewers – defined by the researchers as those between 14 and 32 -- are driving.

For instance:

  • 56% of Millennials watch movies and TV shows on devices other than TVs.
  • 20% are willing to watch short- or long-form content on mobile devices, a clear indication that there’s still a lot of room left for mobile to become an even bigger player in the video space.
  • Across the board, Millennials spend more time streaming video than watching TV.
  • Millennials are more likely to own laptops, smartphones, tablets and game consoles than other generations.
  • About two-thirds of Millennials own tablets, with Gen X 959%), Boomers (46%) and Matures (44%) following.
  • Nearly 87% own smartphones, compared to Gen X (78%), Boomers (63%) and Matures (53%).
  • Eighty percent of Trailing Millennials (14-28) own a game console,
  • About one-third of consumers under 50 own at least one streaming media box, with ownership highest among 26-32 year olds at 38%.
  • Nearly three in four Millennials aged 19-32 are more influenced in their buying decisions by social media recommendations than TV ads.
  • Millennials admitted to engaging in an average of four additional activities while watching TV, primarily surfing the Internet, using social networks, and text messaging.

“The on-the-go, always-connected consumer is driving cultural changes in content consumption that fundamentally impact how companies connect with and engage consumers,” said Kevin Westcott, Deloitte’s principal and U.S. media and entertainment consulting leader. “These behavioral changes combined with the shift towards mobile-based consumer experiences are disrupting traditional business models—while at the same time paving the way for newer opportunities for technology, media, and entertainment companies to adapt and evolve.”

Stay tuned.

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